The Church of Sweden has more female than male priests for the first time, according to numbers released this month, a sign of huge strides for gender equality since women were first allowed to be ordained in 1960.
The Lutheran institution, which was the official Swedish state church until 2000, now counts 1,533 women serving as priests and 1,527 men. Its archbishop and several bishops are also women.
The European Institute for Gender Equality last year ranked Sweden at the top of its annual equality index, giving the country a score of 83.6 compared to an average of 67.4 for the European Union as a whole.
Sweden’s path towards gender parity is shared across Scandinavia, with roughly equal numbers of men and women serving in the clergy ranks of the Church of Denmark and women well-represented in the priesthood of the Church of Norway.
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